On Journalist’s Day in China, Two Warning Bells

China Media Project looks as two recent developments that don’t bode well for Chinese journalists:

This year, Journalist’s Day has come and gone with little cause for celebration among journalists in China who harbor professional ideals. The holiday was marked, in fact, by two distinct warning bells.

The first warning bell came as recent troubles at Caijing magazine culminated in the resignation of editor-in-chief Hu Shuli (胡舒立).

Hu’s departure marked the end of Caijing as one of China’s most outspoken and professional media outlets, and as a key destination and training ground for top journalists. It also underscored the way the professional spirit in Chinese media is now being squeezed more tightly than ever between the priorities of government censorship on the one hand and the prerogative of commercial profit on the other.

The second warning bell came in the form of a speech by politburo member Li Changchun (李长春) to mark Journalist’s Day, in which the ideological chief laid stronger emphasis on media control and avoided all pretense of caring about the public’s “right to know.”

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